The hotel world is in the DNA shared by two of the three founding partners of this dynamic brand that has brought a new meaning to the art of rugmaking. Nelcya Chamszadeh and Fabrizio Cantoni both studied at the Swiss School of Hospitality, which taught them the importance of attention to detail. After Switzerland, they joined two big hotels in Liguria, another invaluable life lesson that helped make them who they are today. They then decided to go and live in Strasbourg, Nelcya’s home city, where they opened Appart in 2001, a multibrand design concept store, with an adjacent rug shop, that was later to become cc-tapis. It is, first and foremost, a love story: it began privately in Liguria, grew commercially in Milan, and was sealed by the “cc” monogram fashioned from the initials of both surnames. Nelcya and Fabrizio came to the Lombard capital, the international centre of the perfect mix of design-fashion-art-communication, after their time in Alsace to continue their studies. Here, at the Polytechnic School of Design, forty-year-old Fabrizio met twenty-year-old Daniele Lora, their future third partner. The age difference was immediately erased by their common sensitivity and their concept of rugmaking as a form and space of experimentation, research and challenge, and their sustainable approach of each production stage, from spinning the Himalayan wool, silk, bamboo, linen and aloe by hand, to the use of purified rainwater for washing the end product. There is strength in numbers, and with three of them, the brand came fully into being, with the opening of a showroom in the heart of the Brera district. “We were driven by a genuine ingenuousness. There were no marketing studies, focus groups, nothing! The three of us just sat down and decided we’d make beautiful rugs and see what happened … Something will happen,” they say.
Something did happen, and fast. The first important commissions rolled in from leading names in design and architecture and leading furnishing companies – like Poliform – enabling the new venture to grow and become established. This was down to their innovative approach to creating bespoke rugs (in terms of sizes, shapes, colours and materials) for all sorts of projects – from residential to contract – as well as the main collection, a rigorously artisan hand-knotted (even up to 232,000 knots per m2) product and focused on experimenting with designers. There are lots of capsule collections: 105 in that studio in Nepal and 25 in the one in India, as well as the actual collections – hundreds of colour combinations and different models.